Increased demand

Gasoline prices rising; bigger hikes expected

by Sarah Fay Campbell

Gasoline prices at some stations in Newnan jumped 10 cents per gallon from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Despite the dramatic jump at the area’s cheapest stations, the state average was up just 1.5 cents from the day before, and 3.8 cents from a week ago, according to AAA’s website.

The national average was up seven cents Monday from a week ago, according to AAA. Prices are expected to climb significantly in the next several weeks.

Analysts with predict that prices may rise 15 to 40 cents per gallon by Easter, and 35 to 50 cents per gallon by the time they peak in April or May.

“After weeks of relative stability with little change in gas prices nationally, we’ve seen a new trend develop that has sent the national average to its highest level since mid-October,” Patrick DeHaan said on Monday.

He predicts the national average will rise another four to seven cents this week. Prices in January and February had been the cheapest new year prices since 2010.

Refinery maintenance, the pending switchover to summer blend gasoline, and increased spring demand “have already put upward pressure on prices at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins of AAA. “During maintenance season, refineries will reduce production output as they switch to the more expensive summer blend fuel.”

In Coweta, Coweta School System Winter Break-related travel likely is also contributing to higher prices.

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